Thanks to late summer heat and intermittent rainstorms, conditions remain excellent for mosquito breeding. Southlake Mosquito Abatement District (SLMAD) reminds you to continue protecting yourself and your family from mosquito bites, as West Nile Virus (WNV) levels remain active in local mosquito populations across the North Shore region.
SLMAD takes steps all season long to manage mosquito populations and limit transmission opportunities to humans. However, late summer is typically when the presence of West Nile virus peaks in mosquito populations, and recent surveillance findings confirms this trend again for 2019.
So far this year, the State of Illinois has reported 789 positive WNV samples of Culex mosquitoes, the species that transmits WNV. Eighteen WNV positive samples are from Lake County, and 12 within the communities served by SLMAD: Deerfield, 6; Ft Sheridan, 2; Highland Park, 2; and Riverwoods, 2. There are four confirmed human cases of WNV in the state: two in Cook County, one in DuPage and one in Kankakee County.
Mosquitoes breed in standing water, which are quite common after periods of heavy rain. By simply tossing out or tipping over standing water sources around your property, and reporting standing water sites that cannot be eliminated to SLMAD at www.clarkeportal.com, you can play a big role in controlling mosquito populations and protecting public health in your community.
To help prevent mosquitoes from breeding around your home and business and to protect yourself from bites, follow the “4 Ds of Defense”:
• Drain: Drain standing water from items around your home, yard, and business. Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpots, or trash containers.
• Defend: Wear an EPA-approved repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Use air conditioning, or window and door screens, to prevent mosquitoes from coming inside.
• Dawn to Dusk: Protect yourself all day and night, and wear repellent outdoors during these prime times for mosquito activity.
• Dress: Wear long sleeves, pants, and closed toe shoes when outdoors to cover your skin. Light colored clothing is also recommended, as mosquitoes are more attracted to dark colors.